Department of Psychiatry
Penn Behavioral Health

Unit for Experimental Psychiatry Division of Sleep and Chronobiology

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David DingesDavid F. Dinges, Ph.D.
Director, Unit for Experimental Psychiatry
Chief, Division of Sleep and Chronobiology
Vice Chair, Faculty Affairs & Professional Development
Department of Psychiatry

David F. Dinges, Ph.D., Professor and Chief, Division of Sleep and Chronobiology, Director of the Unit for Experimental Psychiatry, Vice Chair for Faculty Affairs and Professional Development in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.

His laboratory science focuses on neurobehavioral and physiological regulation of human health and behavior by circadian and sleep biology. The primary focus is on identifying the manner in which sleep need and circadian biology interact to influence wakefulness and neurobehavioral, cognitive, affective and physiological functions (immune, inflammatory, endocrine, metabolic, genetic). His laboratory’s scientific methodologies and capabilities include actigraphy, cognitive and neurobehavioral testing, human electrophysiology, endocrine measures, epidemiology, genetics, metabolic measures, neuroimaging, machine vision, and biomathematical modeling. The research aligns with translational studies of sleep and chronobiology in animal models. The research is often collaborative with investigators at Penn and elsewhere.

He created and validated the psychomotor vigilance test (PVT), which is among the most widely used assays for behavioral alertness relative to sleep and circadian dynamics biology. His has conducted seminal experiments on the effects of chronic sleep restriction in healthy adults living in a specially-equipped Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory in the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. His laboratory’s current experiments focus on the nature of recovery dynamics from sleep loss; phenotypic differences in vulnerability to the effects of sleep loss; and the development of novel behavioral, physiological and technological ways to detect, manage and mitigate the effects of sleep loss. He and his colleagues also conduct naturalistic and interventional field research on healthy adults living near and/or working in safety-sensitive occupations that induce sleep disturbance, sleep loss, and circadian misalignment (e.g., astronauts, civilian and military pilots, health care professionals, commercial truck drivers, etc.). He has also conducted studies on the International Space Station, and in various space analog environments (Mars 500, NEEMO, HERA). His research findings are often used in public policy areas relative to work hours, prevention and detection of fatigue, and standards for health and safety.

He has more than 300 scholarly publications and is a member of Penn’s Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology, the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, the Center for Functional Neuroimaging, the Penn Genomics Frontiers Institute, and the Psychology Department Graduate Group. He lectures in the Perelman School of Medicine, and in Biological Basis of Behavior Program in the School of Arts and Sciences. He has an extensive track record of training students (post-baccalaureate, medical students, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows).

He has served on an NIH Advisory Council and numerous IOM/NRC committees; been the Editor-in-Chief of SLEEP; president of the World Sleep Federation; on an NIH Advisory Council; president of the Sleep Research Society; and on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and National Sleep Foundation. He is a scientific Team Leader for the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, and an elected member of the International Academy of Astronautics. His scientific work has relevance to public policies, and he has served NRC and IOM committees focused on issues of regulated work hours, sleep need, health and safety. He is the recipient  of  numerous awards, including the 2001 Senator Mark O. Hatfield Public Policy Award from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine; the 2004 Decade of Behavior Research Award from the American Psychological Association; the 2007 NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, which is the highest honor NASA awards to a non-Government employee; and the 2009 Raymond F. Longacre Award for Outstanding Accomplishment in the Psychological and Psychiatric Aspects of Aerospace Medicine from the Aerospace Medical Association.

Curriculum Vitaepdf

Selected Bibliography

Doran SM, Van Dongen HP, Dinges DF. Sustained attention performance during sleep deprivation: evidence of state instability. Arch Ital Biol. 2001;139(3):253-67.


Van Dongen HP, Maislin G, Mullington JM, Dinges DF. The cumulative cost of additional wakefulness: dose-response effects on neurobehavioral functions and sleep physiology from chronic sleep restriction and total sleep deprivation. Sleep. 2003;26(2):117-26.


Van Dongen HP, Baynard MD, Maislin G, Dinges DF. Systematic interindividual differences in neurobehavioral impairment from sleep loss: evidence of trait-like differential vulnerability. Sleep. 2004;27(3):423-33.


Meier-Ewert HK1, Ridker PM, Rifai N, Regan MM, Price NJ, Dinges DF, Mullington JM. Effect of sleep loss on C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker of cardiovascular risk. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2004;43(4):678-83.


Lim J, Dinges DF. Sleep deprivation and vigilant attention. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2008;1129:305-22.


Goel N, Rao H, Durmer JS, Dinges DF. Neurocognitive consequences of sleep deprivation. Semin Neurol. 2009 Sep;29(4):320-39.


Lim J, Dinges DF. A meta-analysis of the impact of short-term sleep deprivation on cognitive variables. Psychol Bull. 2010;136(3):375-89.


Recent Publications

Pubmed Link: Dr. Dinges' Publications

Spaeth AM, Dinges DF, Goel N. Phenotypic vulnerability of energy balance responses to sleep loss in healthy adults. Sci Rep. 2015;5:14920.

Lerchl K, Rakova N, Dahlmann A, et al. Agreement Between 24-Hour Salt Ingestion and Sodium Excretion in a Controlled Environment. Hypertension. 2015;66(4):850-7.

Johannes B, Sitev AS, Vinokhodova AG, et al. Wireless Monitoring of Changes in Crew Relations during Long-Duration Mission Simulation. PLoS One. 2015;10(8):e0134814.

Consensus Conference Panel, Watson NF, Badr MS, Belenky G, et al. Joint Consensus Statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society on the Recommended Amount of Sleep for a Healthy Adult: Methodology and Discussion. J Clin Sleep Med. 2015;11(8):931-52.

Consensus Conference Panel, Watson NF, Badr MS, Belenky G, et al. Joint Consensus Statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society on the Recommended Amount of Sleep for a Healthy Adult: Methodology and Discussion. Sleep. 2015;38(8):1161-83.

Basner M, Mcguire S, Goel N, Rao H, Dinges DF. A new likelihood ratio metric for the psychomotor vigilance test and its sensitivity to sleep loss. J Sleep Res. 2015. doi: 10.1111/jsr.12322. [Epub ahead of print]

Goel N, Basner M, Dinges DF. Phenotyping of neurobehavioral vulnerability to circadian phase during sleep loss. Methods Enzymol. 2015;552:285-308.

Weljie AM, Meerlo P, Goel N, et al. Oxalic acid and diacylglycerol 36:3 are cross-species markers of sleep debt. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015;112(8):2569-74.

Fang Z, Spaeth AM, Ma N, et al. Altered salience network connectivity predicts macronutrient intake after sleep deprivation. Sci Rep. 2015;5:8215.

Ma N, Dinges DF, Basner M, Rao H. How acute total sleep loss affects the attending brain: a meta-analysis of neuroimaging studies. Sleep. 2015;38(2):233-40.

Goel N, Abe T, Braun ME, Dinges DF. Cognitive workload and sleep restriction interact to influence sleep homeostatic responses. Sleep. 2014;37(11):1745-56. doi: 10.5665/sleep.4164.

Basner M, Spaeth AM, Dinges DF. Sociodemographic characteristics and waking activities and their role in the timing and duration of sleep. Sleep. 2014;37(12):1889-906.

Spaeth AM, Goel N, Dinges DF. Cumulative neurobehavioral and physiological effects of chronic caffeine intake: individual differences and implications for the use of caffeinated energy products. Nutr Rev. 2014;72 Suppl 1:34-47.

Goel N, Bale TL, Epperson CN, et al. Effects of sex and gender on adaptation to space: behavioral health. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2014;23(11):975-86.

Basner M, Dinges DF. Lost in space: sleep. Lancet Neurol. 2014 Sep;13(9):860-2.

Pellegrino R, Kavakli IH, Goel N, et al. A novel BHLHE41 variant is associated with short sleep and resistance to sleep deprivation in humans. Sleep. 2014;37(8):1327-36.

Spaeth AM, Dinges DF, Goel N. Sex and race differences in caloric intake during sleep restriction in healthy adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014;100(2):559-66.

Abe T, Mollicone D, Basner M, Dinges DF. Sleepiness and Safety: Where Biology Needs Technology. Sleep Biol Rhythms. 2014;12(2):74-84.

Shea JA, Bellini LM, Dinges DF, et al. Impact of protected sleep period for internal medicine interns on overnight call on depression, burnout, and empathy. J Grad Med Educ. 2014;6(2):256-63.

Yi B, Rykova M, Feuerecker M, et al. 520-d Isolation and confinement simulating a flight to Mars reveals heightened immune responses and alterations of leukocyte phenotype. Brain Behav Immun. 2014;40:203-10

Basner M, Dinges DF, Mollicone DJ, et al. Psychological and behavioral changes during confinement in a 520-day simulated interplanetary mission to mars. PLoS One. 2014;9(3):e93298.

Shea JA, Dinges DF, Small DS, et al. A randomized trial of a three-hour protected nap period in a medicine training program: sleep, alertness, and patient outcomes. Acad Med. 2014 Mar;89(3):452-9.

McCauley P, Kalachev LV, Mollicone DJ, Banks S, Dinges DF, Van Dongen HP. Dynamic circadian modulation in a biomathematical model for the effects of sleep and sleep loss on waking neurobehavioral performance. Sleep. 2013;36(12):1987-97.pdf

Goel N, Basner M, Rao H, Dinges DF. Circadian rhythms, sleep deprivation, and human performance. Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci. 2013;119:155-90.pdf

Spaeth AM, Dinges DF, Goel N. Effects of Experimental Sleep Restriction on Weight Gain, Caloric Intake, and Meal Timing in Healthy Adults. Sleep. 2013;36(7):981-990.pdf

Basner M, Dinges DF, Mollicone  DJ, et al. Mars 520-d mission simulation reveals protracted crew hypokinesis and alterations of sleep duration and timing. Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S.A. 2013;110(7):2635-40. pdf